Playreaders’ Native Gardens, Asks if Good Fences Indeed Make Good Neighbors
By Paula Lopuch
According to poet Robert Frost, a good fence (or wall) makes for good neighbors. Conversely, does a bad fence (or wall) break down relations between neighbors?
This timely question is one that Karen Zacharias’s witty contemporary comic play Native Gardens aims to answer.
In a fashionable neighborhood in Washington DC, the Del Valles, a young, upwardly-mobile Hispanic couple (Gina Giampaoli and Kike Carrillo) pursuing their American dream, move in next door to aging longtime residents and WASPs the Butleys (Anne Campbell and Jim Wright). Everything goes well initially—including philosophical differences about native plant vegetation vs. an English-style formal garden—until the fence between their backyards becomes a matter of concern. All hell breaks loose in a real border dispute.
San Miguel Playreaders’ next play reading explores what happens when different cultures and generations clash over principles, revealing assumptions and prejudices on both sides. The thorny issues depicted—racism, class, ageism, privilege, sexism, entitlement—are the hot buttons we observe today in US society (and around the world), but are handled here with a light touch. This play presents many teachable moments and asks questions like what does it mean to be an American? How are we all going to live together peaceably in this world?
No one comes out smelling like a rose, but the good news is that the couples have more in common than they think and are willing to compromise in the end.
Directed by Paula Lopuch, with lights and sound by Patrick Green, Native Gardens runs next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at Playreaders Theatre in St Paul’s Church.
Tickets will be sold at the door at 6:45pm each evening on a first-come, first-serve basis. All ticket holders must be present when the doors open at 7pm, or their seat may be resold. The play will begin at 7:30pm or when the house is filled.
Tue–Thu, Feb 5–7, 7:30pm
St Paul’s Church
30 pesos donation